Issue 4-2022 small

6 August 1998 Edition

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Unionists need leadership

PUP leader David Ervine's call this week for Sinn Féin to say `the war is over' is politically immature and hypocritical.

Ervine should know only too well what is involved in conflict resolution. Progress is made by steadily advancing towards a changed political landscape. That is done by a process of active change - not empty words. Playing to the gallery and making spurious demands is the sort of hot-air politics that Ervine constantly lectures others about. He knows very well that his demand is meaningless.

Not only that, but Ervine's hypocrisy is astounding. During the Drumcree crisis, loyalists and Orange Order supporters attacked nationalists night after night. In Ervine's worldview, attacks on nationalists must not be part of the ``war''. He has made no calls for loyalists - or the British government - to say the war is over. Why not?

Of course, the motivation for these calls lie in the divisions and confusion within Unionism. There is a striking unwillingness to embrace change, despite the rhetoric of ``progressive'' Unionists.

Ervine and others shouldn't cry at Sinn Féin every time their nerve fails. They need to tell their followers that progress can only be made by pushing the process forward. The first step on that road must now be for the Unionist leadership to meet Sinn Féin and begin to map out the shared future together.

Sellafield must close

News of yet another ``accident'' at the Sellafield nuclear plant on the Cumbrian coast in England should spur Irish people on to support the campaign to have this nuclear death trap closed.

Sellafield continues to spew radioactive material into the Irish Sea, posing a real danger to the lives and health of people in Ireland. The plant also threatens us with a major accident which would have disastrous consequences for us all.

Sellafield must close now.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1